West Perth gave their finals chances a much-needed boost with a comprehensive 62-point win over South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval today.
Key forward Nick Rodda produced a career-best haul of five goals in the 19.19 (133) to 10.11 (71) victory, which kept the Falcons in the hunt for a spot in the top four.
The reigning premiers sit fifth on the ladder, two wins behind fourth-placed East Fremantle.
The lead changed hands five times during an entertaining opening quarter and scores were level at the first break after West Perth and South Fremantle had kicked six goals apiece.
The Bulldogs suffered a blow early in the second quarter when Mitchell Banks had to be carried off the ground on a stretcher after injuring his left knee.
Banks left the ground in an ambulance during the second half.
Craig White kicked the first goal of the second term for South Fremantle soon after the restart, but it was all West Perth from there.
The Falcons booted the next four goals, including a superb long-range shot from Andrew Strijk on the run, and led by 19 points at half-time.
Majors to Rohan Kerr, Jay van Berlo and Matt Johnson in the opening five minutes of the third quarter saw the margin quickly blow out to 37 points and put the result beyond doubt.
Rodda continued to provide a marking target in attack and kicked his fourth goal on the three-quarter time siren to push the lead out to 46 points.
The Falcons went into cruise control during the final term.
Ashton Hams provided a brief highlight for the home side when he took a spectacular high mark late in the last quarter.
Aaron Black (25 possessions), Matt Guadagnin (26) and Shane Nelson (37) were all prominent in the engine room for West Perth, who used the ball better than their opponents and ran harder after quarter-time.
The Falcons’ dominance was best illustrated by the lop-sided inside 50 count (72-33).
South Fremantle struggled to find a marking target in attack in the absence of regular spearhead Ben Saunders, who was sidelined with a calf injury.
White was the Bulldogs’ best forward on the day, finishing with three goals, while Hams (34 possessions) and Brendan Verrier (33) were busy.
|GOALS - WEST PERTH: Rodda 5; Johnson 3; Crisp 2; Black, Guadagnin, Kerr, Manning, Martin, Potente, Strijk, Tsalikis, van Berlo. SOUTH FREMANTLE: White 3; Higgins 2; Carter, Cook, Kelly, Schloithe, B Verrier.|
BEST - WEST PERTH: Nelson, Black, Rodda, Kerr, Guadagnin, Keunen, Hunt. SOUTH FREMANTLE: Hams, B Verrier, White, Guglielmana, Schloithe.